Iron is an essential trace element and is necessary for the formation of red blood cells and certain enzymes.
This iron test checks the amount of iron in the blood to see how well iron is metabolized in the body.
Iron tests are used to check for iron deficiency anaemia, check for a condition called haemochromatosis, check nutritional status or to check to see if iron and nutritional treatment is working.
Iron (Fe) is a mineral needed for haemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen.
Iron is also needed for energy, good muscle and organ function.
Roughly 70% of the body's iron is bound to haemoglobin. The rest is bound to other proteins or stored in other body tissues. When red blood cells die, their iron is released and carried by transferrin to the bone marrow and to other organs such as the liver and spleen. In the bone marrow, iron is stored and used as needed to make new red blood cells.
Recent consumption of iron-rich foods, or of iron pills or tablets, can affect test results, as can recent blood transfusions. Alcohol and drugs, such as oral contraceptives, can increase iron levels, whereas testosterone, large doses of aspirin, metformin, and ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone) can decrease them.
The Iron test meausres how much iron is in your blood with the aim of identifying iron deficiency anaemia or iron overload syndrome (haemochromatosis)
The symptoms of too much or too little iron can be similar: fatigue, muscle weakness, moodiness and problems concentrating.
A raised result can mean that you have iron overload syndrome, an inherited condition where your body stores too much iron, or that you are over-supplementing or that you have a liver condition.
A low result can mean that you are anaemic or are suffering from gastro-intestinal blood loss (or other blood loss). Anaemia is also very common in pregnant women.
Total Iron Binding Capacity (TIBC) is a measure of the amount of iron that can be carried through the blood.
A raised TIBC result usually indicates iron deficiency whereas a low TIBC can occur with iron overload syndrome (haemochromatosis).
Transferrin is made in the liver and is the major protein in the blood which binds to iron and transports it through the body.
Low levels of transfrerrin indicate iron deficiency while high levels indicate iron overload.
We will send you your Iron finger-prick blood test sample collection kit which contains everything you need to take your blood sample in the comfort of your own home. If you are unsure about completing a finger-prick blood sample collection you will have the opportunity to select a clinic-based venous blood sample collection or choose to go our London laboratory during the checkout process.
Your Iron test includes 1st class postage and packaging for you to send your blood sample directly to our laboratory for analysis. If you live in an area where you cannot rely on the post or you simply want to ensure that your sample arrives at the laboratory the following day, you may wish to send your blood sample guaranteed next day delivery for extra reassurance.